VIDEO Through the Fire

“He never promised that the cross would not get heavy
And the hill would not be hard to climb
He never offered our victories without fighting
But he said help would always come in time
Just remember when you’re standing in the valley of decision
And the adversary says give in
Just hold on, our Lord will show up
And he will take you through the fire again” ~The Crabb Family; Through the Fire

Isn’t it good to know that even at our lowest points, we have a Savior who walks with us? We as Christians were never promised the perfect life but we were promised peace and comfort through those hard times. God will never leave us nor forsake us! (Deuteronomy 31:8)

https://asweetpeach.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/through-the-fire/

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Walking with the Lord – Am I Blessed Like This?

walk through woods
Walking with the Lord

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. —Psalm 37:23

A small pamphlet I received from a friend was titled “An Attempt to Share the Story of 86 Years of Relationship with the Lord.” In it, Al Ackenheil noted key people and events in his journey of faith over nearly nine decades. What seemed to be ordinary choices at the time—memorizing Bible verses, meeting for prayer with others, telling his neighbors about Jesus—became turning points that changed the direction of his life. It was fascinating to read how God’s hand guided and encouraged Al.

The psalmist wrote, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way” (Ps. 37:23). The passage continues with a beautiful description of God’s faithful care for everyone who wants to walk with Him. “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide” (v. 31).

Each of us could create a record of God’s leading and faithfulness, reflecting on God’s guidance—the people, places, and experiences that are landmarks on our pathway of faith. Every remembrance of the Lord’s goodness encourages us to keep walking with Him and to thank someone who influenced us for good.

The Lord guides and guards all who walk with Him.

Heavenly Father, Your faithfulness to us is unfailing. Thank You for leading, guiding, and providing so many spiritual encouragers and mentors. Bless those today who have helped us so much.

You are headed in the right direction when you walk with God.

By David McCasland

Am I Blessed Like This?
blessing meal family

Blessed are… —Matthew 5:3-11

When we first read the statements of Jesus, they seem wonderfully simple and unstartling, and they sink unnoticed into our subconscious minds. For instance, the Beatitudes initially seem to be merely soothing and beautiful precepts for overly spiritual and seemingly useless people, but of very little practical use in the rigid, fast-paced workdays of the world in which we live. We soon find, however, that the Beatitudes contain the “dynamite” of the Holy Spirit. And they “explode” when the circumstances of our lives cause them to do so. When the Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance one of the Beatitudes, we say, “What a startling statement that is!” Then we must decide whether or not we will accept the tremendous spiritual upheaval that will be produced in our circumstances if we obey His words. That is the way the Spirit of God works. We do not need to be born again to apply the Sermon on the Mount literally. The literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount is as easy as child’s play. But the interpretation by the Spirit of God as He applies our Lord’s statements to our circumstances is the strict and difficult work of a saint.

The teachings of Jesus are all out of proportion when compared to our natural way of looking at things, and they come to us initially with astonishing discomfort. We gradually have to conform our walk and conversation to the precepts of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit applies them to our circumstances. The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of rules and regulations— it is a picture of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His unhindered way with us.

by Oswald Chambers

When Faith Wavers

Matthew 21:21

One of the main obstacles to effective prayer is lack of trust. If we believe God is who He says He is and will do what He has promised, why do so many of us habitually waver in our prayers? Instead of exercising bold faith, we come to the Lord “hoping” He will hear us and answer our requests, but we’re just not sure He will. With this kind of thinking, we cannot expect to receive anything from Him.

One reason we are so prone to doubt is that we fail to see God at work in our circumstances. We asked, and nothing happened. But the Lord is not some cosmic bellhop who jumps in response to our requests. He sees past, present, and future and knows the right time for every answer. His invisible hand is already at work on our behalf—arranging situations to accomplish His will, opening hearts, and preparing us to receive what He wants to give.

Another cause for uncertainty is ignorance. If we don’t know God’s ways, we will be disappointed in His response. All too often our prayers are accompanied by expectations of how He will work. When He fails to intervene according to our anticipated method, we start to doubt. But placing our faith in the Lord and trusting in His good and perfect ways gives us stability as we wait for His answer.

To overcome doubts, spend time in the Word to learn God’s principles and ways. Then you’ll begin to grasp what He wants to achieve in your life and how He goes about it. Examine your past from a biblical perspective—faith will grow as you see the unexpected ways He’s answered your prayers.

With the Rich in His Death

“And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:9)

It is generally recognized that the amazing 53rd chapter of Isaiah, written over 500 years earlier, is the most explicit and complete exposition of the substitutionary suffering and death of the Lord Jesus Christ in all the Bible, including even the New Testament accounts. And this prophecy that His death and burial would be with both the “wicked, and with the rich” is surely one of the most remarkable. How could such a prediction possibly come to pass?

Yet it did! Unjustly condemned, not for any violent or deceitful acts, but only for telling the truth, Jesus was crucified between two wicked criminals, yet He was buried in a garden tomb lovingly built by a rich member of the council that had condemned Him to death.

Furthermore, that elaborate tomb had almost certainly been personally designed and built ahead of time by Joseph in specific anticipation of using it to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy. That wealthy owner of the tomb lived in Arimathea and would never have built a tomb for himself or his family near Calvary, the place of crucifixion. But he and a friend on the council (Nicodemus) had somehow come to believe in Jesus and His gospel and decided they were the ones that should render this service.

Perhaps, as they looked up at the body of the Lord on the cross just before removing it for burial, they remembered His words to Nicodemus three years earlier, when He had said: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14-15). They had indeed believed, no doubt suffering severe loss, but they had done what they could for Christ. HMM

The Self-Effacing Saint

For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. —Philippians 2:20-21

It is our belief that the evangelical movement will continue to drift farther and farther from the New Testament position unless its leadership passes from the modern religious star to the self-effacing saint who asks for no praise and seeks no place, happy only when the glory is attributed to God and himself forgotten….

Within the last quarter of a century we have actually seen a major shift in the beliefs and practices of the evangelical wing of the church so radical as to amount to a complete sellout; and all this behind the cloak of fervent orthodoxy. With Bibles under their arms and bundles of tracts in their pockets, religious persons now meet to carry on “services” so carnal, so pagan, that they can hardly be distinguished from the old vaudeville shows of earlier days. And for a preacher or a writer to challenge this heresy is to invite ridicule and abuse from every quarter.

Our only hope is that renewed spiritual pressure will be exerted increasingly by self-effacing and courageous men who desire nothing but the glory of God and the purity of the church. May God send us many of them. They are long overdue.

Lord, forgive me for my pride. Give me the humble spirit of the selfeffacing saint. Amen.

Many Never Cross Over into God’s Promised Land

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Galatians 5:24

It is very important for earnest Christian believers to understand that long prayer vigils, along with strong crying and tears, are not in themselves meritorious acts.

We must be settled in our knowledge that every blessing flows out of the goodness of God as from a fountain. Even those rewards for good works about which some Bible teachers talk so fulsomely, and which they always set in sharp contrast to the benefits received by grace alone, are at bottom as certainly of grace as is the forgiveness of sin itself.

The holiest apostle can claim no more than that he is an unprofitable servant. The very angels exist out of the pure goodness of God. No creature can “earn” anything in the usual meaning of the word.

All things are by and of the sovereign goodness of God!

Yet for all God’s good will toward us He is unable to grant us our heart’s desires until all our desires have been reduced to one. When we have dealt with our carnal ambitions, when we have trodden upon the lion and adder of the flesh, have trampled the dragon of self-love under our feet and have truly reckoned ourselves to have died unto sin, then and only then can God raise us to newness of life and fill us with His blessed Holy Spirit!

For every one that actually crosses over into the Promised Land there are many who stand for a while and look longingly across the river and then turn sadly back to the comparative safety of the sandy wastes of the old life!

“Unfair! Unfair!”

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth… neither was any deceit in his mouth. ISAIAH 53:7, 9

Christians who understand the true meaning of Christ’s cross will never whine about being treated unfairly. Whether or not they are given fair treatment will never enter their heads. They know they have been called to follow Christ, and certainly the Savior did not receive anything approaching fair treatment from mankind.

In language the word unfair seems altogether innocent, but it indicates an inner attitude that has no place among Christians.

The man who cries “Unfair!” is not a victorious man. He is inwardly defeated and in self-defense appeals to the referee to note that he has been fouled. This gives him an alibi when they carry him out on a stretcher and saves his face while his bruises heal.

It is a certainty that Christians will suffer wrongs; but if they take them in good spirit and without complaint, they have conquered their enemy. They remember that Jesus was reviled—but any thought of His shouting for fair play simply cannot be entertained by the reverent heart!

Lord, remind me to think of Your example whenever I am tempted to complain that “life is unfair.” You suffered the greatest injustice of all; yet You remained silent.